Where Law and Morality Meet

Paperback | July 15, 2008

byMatthew H. Kramer

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How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? These questions have been a fundamental concern in the modern analytic philosophy of law. In Where Law and Morality Meet Matthew Kramer reviews the most influential accounts of legal and moralreasoning and presents his own conception of whether moral principles should be incorporated into a concept of law.In Part One, Kramer argues that moral principles can enter into the law of any jurisdiction. He contends that legal officials can invoke moral principles as laws for resolving disputes, and that they can also invoke them as threshold tests which ordinary laws must satisfy. In opposition to manyother theorists, Kramer argues that these functions of moral principles are consistent with the essential characteristics of any legal system.Part Two reaffirms the legal positivist argument that law and morality are separable, arguing against the position of natural-law theory, which portrays legal requirements as a species of moral requirements. Kramer contends that even though the existence of a legal system in any sizeable society isessential for the realization of fundamental moral values, law is not inherently moral either in its effects or in its motivational underpinnings.In the final part, Kramer contests the widespread view that people whose conduct is meticulously careful cannot be held morally responsible for harmful effects of their actions. Through this argument, he reveals that fault-independent liability is present even more prominently in morality than inthe law.

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How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? These questions have been a fundamental concern in the modern analytic philosophy of law. In Where Law and Morality Meet Matthew Kramer reviews the most influential accounts of legal and moralreasoning and presents his own conception of whe...

Matthew H. Kramer is Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Churchill College, and Director of the Cambridge Forum for Legal and Political Philosophy.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.63 inPublished:July 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199546134

ISBN - 13:9780199546138

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Table of Contents

PREFACECONTENTSINTRODUCTIONPART I -- WHERE LAW AND MORALITY MEET: LEGAL POSITIVISM AND THE IDENTIFICATION OF LEGAL NORMSCHAPTER 1: HOW MORAL PRINCIPLES CAN ENTER INTO THE LAWCHAPTER 2: THROWING LIGHT ON THE ROLE OF MORAL PRINCIPLES IN THE LAW: FURTHER REFLECTIONSCHAPTER 3: ON MORALITY AS A NECESSARY OR SUFFICIENT CONDITION FOR LEGALITYCHAPTER 4: OF FINAL THINGS: MORALITY AS ONE OF THE ULTIMATE DETERMINANTS OF LEGAL VALIDITYPART II -- WHERE LAW AND MORALITY DIVERGE: LEGAL POSITIVISM REAFFIRMEDCHAPTER 5: LEGAL POSITIVISM DEFENDEDCHAPTER 6: ON THE MORAL STATUS OF THE RULE OF LAWCHAPTER 7: ON THE SEPARABILITY OF LAW AND MORALITYPART III -- FROM LEGAL PHILOSOPHY TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY: AFFINITIES BETWEEN LAW AND MORALITYCHAPTER 8: MORAL RIGHTS AND THE LIMITS OF THE 'OUGHT'-IMPLIES-'CAN' PRINCIPLE: WHY IMPECCABLE INTENTIONS ARE NO EXCUSE

Editorial Reviews

`That Kramer's prior work in this area has already received so much critical attention itself suggests that anyone interested in contemporary legal theory would benefit from this book's careful review of the contemporary lanscape of legal positivism and its subtle and often pursuasivearguments advancing those horizons.'Brian D. Berry, Law and Phiosophy Program, University of Texas